Housing affordability is worsening for first home buyers but staying the same for renters, according to the latest Housing Affordability Measure (HAM) released by the Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment (MBIE).
It shows that across the country, an estimated 80% of potential first home buyers would have below average incomes left to live on after paying housing costs including mortgage payments, rates and insurance. That's up from 77% a year earlier.
However the percentage of renters who would have below average incomes after paying their rent was unchanged at 61%.
According to MBIE, the HAM "shows a trend, which supports central and local government to respond to affordability challenges that are specific to each housing market."
Unfortunately the measure is already out of date.
It is based on data up until March 2017, and does not take into account any changes in rent, household incomes, mortgage interest rates or house prices that have occurred since then.
So some people might say that this piece of HAM from MBIE is past its use by date. (Here's interest.co.nz's most recent Home Loan Affordability Report).
However what it does show is that home ownership was becoming increasingly unaffordable for first home buyers in all three main centres during the final years of the last National Government.
In Auckland, the share of potential first home buyers who would have below average incomes left after paying housing costs increased from 83% in March 2016 to 84 % in March 2017.
In Wellington City it increased from 58% in March 2016 to to 63% in March 2017, and in Christchurch it increased from 72% to 74% over the same period.
However renters fared slightly better, particularly in Auckland where the estimated share of renting households who would have below average incomes after paying their rent declined from 55% in March 2016 to 54% in March 2017.
In Wellington City the share of renters with below average incomes after rent payments were deducted was unchanged on 44%. In Christchurch it increased from 54% to 56%.